Do you ever have one of those days where you think deeply about life, yours and others, and wonder what, if any, purpose is behind it all? I do. But today was not one of those days.
In Sunday School this morning we discussed faith vs works as presented in the book of James. Generally Baptists believe that salvation is based on faith plus nothing. This has always been problematic for me since it would seem to me that that would mean that there are faith people who do no works that will be saved. But James says that faith without works is dead. Generally this is explained by saying that a saving faith will lead to works automatically, but it is the faith that's important, not the works. Isn't this just semantics? If the only kind of faith that saves is one that results in works, are not the works just as important in the salvation equation as is faith. To put my interpretation of the Bible into mathematical formulas, I get these:
1. Faith + NoWorks <> Salvation
2. NoFaith + Works <> Salvation
3. Faith + Works = Salvation
Of course many people worry that if 3 is true, then one might become overly concerned that they are not doing enough works to be saved. Understood! But if no works are present, won't they worry that their faith is dead? Won't some workers still fear that their faith is not strong enough? In other words, there's always something to worry about if you want to worry.
The student minister at our church preached today. WOW! He was on fire. He had that right balance of humor and seriousness that most people enjoy in a preacher. And to top it all off, at the end of the service, he asked his girlfriend to marry him. Yeah, right there in front of the entire congregation. That's risky in my book, but fortunately she said "Yes."